In a regular monthly briefing to the UN Security Council, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, brought into question the viability of the two state solution in Palenstine and Israel after an impasse brought about by Israel’s continued settlement activity:
“Maybe also we should be giving a signal to the parties that the two-State solution is not a solution which is going to be there forever. I see developments on the ground which can complicate the very perspective of a two-State solution. So I think the sense of urgency also must be brought across.
“The longer the impasse in talks persists, the greater our concern that tensions on the ground will unravel modest achievements and stand in the way of a negotiated solution.”
He reported that there was low confidence and trust between the parties to negotiations. On Monday 21st February, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal.
The other 14 members of the Council voted for the resolution, which was co-sponsored by over 120 of the UN’s 192 Member States. It stated:
“Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard.”
The United States claimed that the resolution was inflammatory and undermined efforts to bring the leadership to the negotiating table. The Quartet (UN, Europe, United State and Russia) will meet together and with Israeli and Palestinian delegations next week in Brussels.
Robert Serry also noted in his report that there has been an increase in rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, an increase in Israeli air attacks against Gaza and an increase in Israeli settlements in the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights.